We can't wait to welcome you to Andover College in September! 

We have created this interactive page to give you a sense of what studying English Language & Literature at Andover College is like. Scroll down to explore Dystopian and Utopian visions of the future and have a go at the creative writing and artistic activities!

We would love to see your ideas and results so please send them back to andoverapplicantwelcome@sparsholt.ac.uk with 'English Language & Literature' as the email heading!  

Be sure to look into the additional help and support we can provide through our experienced Careers and Health & Wellbeing teams. 

Welcome to the Course!

This subject combines the best parts of both Literature and Language, examining language and the written form through classic literacy texts, such as The Handmaid's Tale. Take a look at the presentation below for an introduction to the genre and your activities! 

Firstly, you should scroll down and take a look through the presentation your lecturer Susannah has created to introduce you to the genre and text. Following this have a look at the following resources (links in images) to learn more and explore the world of the Handmaidens.


Handmaids Tale Picture film.jpg

Did you know that before the critically acclaimed TV adaptation The Handmaid's Tale was created in film form! Have a look below and learn more about this forgotten adaptation. 

Task - watch and compare the theatrical trailer for the 1990 Film vs the 2017 TV adaptation - what differences can you notice - how has the medium of their performance affected the text. 

Why not try writing a review for The Handmaid's Tale - you can find lots of good inspiration online including various articles, such as the one below from The New York Times. 

Handmaids tale picture tv show.jpg


"In the spring of 1984 I began to write a novel that was not initially called “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I wrote in longhand, mostly on yellow legal notepads, then transcribed my almost illegible scrawling using a huge German-keyboard manual typewriter I’d rented." - Margaret Attwood 

Read this interesting article written by Margaret Attwood!

Interview with margaret Attwood.jpg

Genre Conventions 

Genre poster.png

English Language & Literature Presentation

English Language & Literature Genre Information

Additional Resources 

Eager to learn more? Take a look at these additional activities to keep your skills sharp over the summer! 

As creative writing is an integral part of the course, I would also like you to complete a creative writing task. You need to choose ONE of the following options:
1. Writing a dystopia. The world has fallen apart, nothing is as it was, society is in tatters and your character(s) are the only one(s) left.
Write 500-750 words about a character(s) in a dystopian world.

2. ‘Suddenly, there’s nothing left’. Write a character-focused piece exploring how things have changed for one person. It could be a bereavement, it could be moving to a new area, or becoming a new person, explore what this means to a character you create.
Write 500-750 words about a character for whom everything has changed.

There are a variety of web pages which are offering free online courses to keep your mind and skills sharp over the summer. 

The Open University has a variety of free online courses available in an array of different subjects. Take a look at the catalogue to choose your course! Here. 

You could also investigate the courses offered at the EtonX web page; please note these are paid for programmes that your current school may have access to so please check with them and back here regularly for updates.

Student wellbeing and support 

At Andover College we understand that starting college in these uncertain times can be daunting and we aim to make this process as simple as possible. 

We have a dedicated team that provide our students with any additional support they need including; 

  • Counselling 
  • Carer support 
  • Childcare support 
  • Confidential one-to-one services 

We have also recently introduced two new members to the wellbeing team ... Arlo and Romeo the Therapy Dogs!

Arlo and Romeo are part of the continued effort from Andover College to consistently improve on and add to provisions for students. They are based on campus with their owners throughout term.

Research has shown that students are significantly less stressed and anxious, and even have increased happiness and energy, immediately following spending time in a drop-in session with a dog present. What good boys!

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Our Courses: 

A-Level in English Language & Literature (2 Years) 

Student Experience 

Former Andover College student Lauren explains her decision to take Law, English Literature & Language, Psychology and Business Studies, her experience at College, the support available and what she is up to now! 


Student Experience: Lauren

New Activity!

Read the opening to Orwell's '1984' making a list of all the dystopian genre conventions that are used. Use the poster on genre conventions you created in the last activities from this page. 

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Want to take it further? Try this activity:

Make a comparison of the opening paragraph from 1984 with the opening paragraph of The Handmaid's Tale using a Venn diagram. Put 1984 on one side and The Handmaid's Tale on the other side, conventions, plot points and links should go in the overlapping section.

Oxford Press Resources 

Oxford University Press have produced a variety of activities to enable your learning over the long summer break. Make sure you let us know how you get on! 

English resources available here. 

Careers Guidance 

Our careers guidance aims to expand the horizons of all students enabling you to make informed career decisions in order to progress both during and after college. 

Carol is our dedicated Careers Advisor for Andover College! 

Carol Allen Careers.jpg

We also have our Sun Progression Mentor Anna! 

Anna SUN.jpg

Anna works alongside the Southern Universities Network (SUN) to help students recognise the routes of progression available to them, and to continue their journey in education! 

We recently launched the new Careers Hub located in the College library so come and say hello to Carol and Anna! 

Careers hub launch.jpg

Social Media 

We love to post about all our students on our platforms including their achievements, trips and excellent work - take a look at some of the highlights below and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube! 

Facebook - Student testimonials.jpg

Instagram - theatre students.jpg

Twitter - wellbeing.jpg

Ready for more... 

BBC Writers room is running a free online 'Introduction to Screenwriting' course in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Future Learn. Have a look and let us know how you get on! 

BBC Writters Room Picture.jpg

Not already applied?

Got this link but not yet applied? – Click below so you can join us in September!